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Fuel Scarcity Rumors Unfounded – Petroleum Minister

By on August 17, 2012

Petroleum Minister, Diezani Madueke

The Petroleum Minister has said there is no fuel scarcity in the country at present as the NNPC has over 45 days strategic reserve of fuel left.

The Minister attributed the queues at the filling stations in Abuja to a disagreement on subsidy payments between fuel marketers and the Finance Ministry. A disagreement she said would soon be resolved.

She said, “It is with a great deal of concern that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has noticed increased queues at our filling stations, particularly here in Abuja.

“I want to assure the Nigerian public that NNPC and PPMC themselves have no scarcity of products and in fact, we have 40 to 45 days stock of consumption in our reserve this time.

“Having said that, it is also very clear that the Ministry of Finance is working very hard to address the situation at hand and I will like to appeal particularly with the marketers to please cooperate with the Federal Government at this time especially as we go into the Eid-el-Fitri holiday and to find ways and means along with the Federal Government to see that this strike is brought to an end very quickly.”

In reaction to the threat of strike made by the Petroleum marketers over the subsidy payments, the Finance Minister, Okonjo-Iweala said over N42 billion had been paid between April and August this year. She also indicated her ministry’s willingness to continue to pay verified claims of the marketers.

She said, “Between April and May 2012, oil marketers with a claim of N17 billion were fully settled through the issuance of Sovereign Debt Notes and other relevant documentation.

“Another N25.6 billion in claims was fully settled with the issuance of Sovereign Debt Notes based on the directive of the CME which allowed for the continuity of the payments of all verified claims.

“In all, between April and August this year, in respect of 2012 PMS claims, Sovereign Debt Notes amounting to N42.666 billion have been issued to 31 oil marketers,” the minister added.